In Germany there are countless varieties of Leberwurst, two of which I like in particular. For one there is the grey “Hausmacher” style from Palatinate. Being born in Mannheim this may well be called my home sausage. Then I also love the smoked variety in thin rings which is also suitable for air drying. So when I decided to convert my ProQ Frontier water smoker to cold smoking I did not have to think for long what to make as first job.
For a better result in drying the sausage should not be too soft but have a somewhat firmer texture. This is why in comparison to the Palatinate style less broth is used, also the skin of the meat is not removed.
Ingredients per kg meat:
- 750 g fat pork belly, boneless but skin on
- 250 g pork liver
- 1 small onion, diced
- 25 g nitrite curing salt 0.5%
- 5 g fresh marjoram, chopped
- 2 g black pepper, ground
- 1 g allspice
- 0.5 g cardamom
- 0.5 g mace
- Natural hog casings 30/32 mm
- Greens for the broth (leek, carrot, celeriac)
Note: If the pork belly is not very fat, it is advisable to also use some fatback or other other raw pork fat.
Special equipment needed:
- Meat grinder with 3 or 4 mm plate
- Sausage stuffer
- Smoker suitable for cold smoking
Soak the sausage casing in tepid water. Simmer the pork belly with the greens for one hour in a pot. If the meat came bone in, only remove the bones when done. In the final 10 minutes add the pork liver and (if used) the pork fat. While the meat is simmering, lightly brown the onion in a skillet with some butter. Let cool down a bit, cut into chunks and pass everything thorugh the meat grinder, including the onions.
Add salt and spices and mix. Gradually add as much broth that the meat takes on the texture of a porridge that is just about compact.
Prepare the sausage stuffer and fill the casings, tying off individual sausages of 25 to 35 cm length.
Simmer the sausages for about 40 minutes at 70 to 80 degrees in the remaing broth, if needed top up with water. Then bind into rings, wipe off any excess fat and hang cool overnight so the surface can dry.
Smoke lightly for about 8 hours. The exact time needed depends on your smoker and your personal taste. If you prefer a smokier aroma, you can also do a second smoking run.
Hang the sausages again and let them dry until they reach the desired firmness. The temperature should not surpass 15 degress, the relative humidity should not fall below 65%. But the sausage may already be cut after a few days of drying.